Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Killadeas Manor

11,602 ACRES

WILLIAM IRVINE, of Ballindullagh, third son of CHRISTOPHER IRVINE, of Castle Irvine (also called Necarne Castle), married Elizabeth, daughter of Herbert Gledstanes, Colonel under GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS of Sweden, and died in 1691, leaving, with other issue,
CHRISTOPHER, s his cousin; ancestor of IRVINE of Castle Irvine;
JOHN, of whom presently.
The younger son, 

JOHN IRVINE, of Cooles and Killadeas, County Fermanagh, wedded firstly, Elizabeth, daughter of J Hamilton, and had issue,
CHRISTOPHER, his heir;
Margaret, m Rev Alexander Smyth.
Mr Irvine married secondly, Catherine, daughter of LANCELOT CARLETON, of Rossfad, sister of Guy, 1st Baron Dorchester, and had further issue,
John, died unmarried 1728;
Magdalen; Katherine; Dorothy Maria; Sydney; Sophia.
His will was proved in 1716.

The eldest son, 

MAJOR CHRISTOPHER IRVINE, of Cooles and Rockfield, High Sheriff of Fermanagh, 1734, married Jane, daughter of the Rev William Greene, of Dresternan, County Fermanagh, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Gerard, of Greenhill;
Major Irvine died in 1760, and was succeeded by his elder son,

JOHN IRVINE, of Rockfield, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1763, who espoused, in 1745, Catherine, eldest daughter of the RT REV JOSEPH STORY, Lord Bishop of Kilmore, and had issue,
Christopher, died unmarried;
Joseph, died unmarried;
GERARD, his heir;
William, of Cookstown;
Deborah; Elizabeth; Sophia.
Mr Irvine died in 1787, and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, 

GERARD IRVINE (1749-1835), of Rockfield, Deputy Governor and High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1803, Captain, 47th Regiment, with which regiment he served in the American War, and was at the battle of Bunker's Hill.

Mr Irvine married Catherine, daughter of Robert Hassard, of Stoneville, Skea, County Fermanagh, and had issue,
JOHN, his successor;
Arthur Henry (Rev);
Jane, Catherine.
The eldest son, 

JOHN IRVINE JP DL (1788-1860), of Rockfield (later called Killadeas), Major, Royal Tyrone Fusiliers Regiment of Militia, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1819, wedded, in 1817, Sarah, eldest daughter of Thomas Towers, of Bushy Park, County Tipperary, and had issue,
Gerard, died unmarried, 1840;
JOHN GERARD, of whom hereafter;
Christopher (Rev);
Charles Dopping;
Malcolm Edward;
Arthur Benjamin (Rev);
Duncan Malcolm;
Mary; Kathleen; Caroline Sophia; Sarah Elizabeth.
The eldest surviving son, 

JOHN GERARD IRVINE JP DL (1823-1902), of Killadeas, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1852 and 1878, Colonel Commanding 3rd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, married, in 1860, Elizabeth, Daughter of William Daniell, of Ballymackney, County Monaghan, and Manor Hassett Lodge, County Fermanagh, and had issue,
William Peregrine Daniell;
Arthur Launcelot Carleton;
Charles Edward Stannus;
Geoffrey George Vaughan;
Mary Elizabeth Geraldine; Kathleen Margaret Matilda; Elsie Beatrice Blanche.
Colonel Irvine was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN GERARD CHRISTOPHER IRVINE JP DL (1865-1938), of Killadeas, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1891, Major, 3rd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who wedded, in 1886, Georgina Emma Matilda, daughter of Captain Mervyn Archdale MP, of Castle Archdale, and had issue,
Marjorie Matilda.
The elder son,

GERARD MERVYN FREDERICK IRVINE MC JP, of Osborne Park, Belfast, Captain, 11th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was High Sheriff of Fermanagh, 1949.

THE MANOR HOUSE, Killadeas, Ballinamallard, County Fermanagh, stands in a prominent position overlooking Lower Lough Erne.

It is seven miles north of Enniskillen. Irvinestown is probably the nearest village.

The original Victorian-Italianate house consists of two storeys.

The entrance front has a pediment and porch in the form of a three-arched loggia, flanked by a square tower with a glazed belvedere and urns on its parapet.

The house has been a hotel for over fifty years, having been owned by the Noble family prior to the present proprietors.


DURING my childhood I used to spend weekend breaks and longer spells in this area of the county.

We had a sort of circuit of hotels and restaurants which we frequented, viz. the Manor House Hotel at Killadeas, the Lough Erne Hotel in Kesh, the Encore Steak-house in Ballinamallard and the Hollander restaurant in Irvinestown.

The Manor House, Killadeas (Image: picture postcard)

The Manor House Hotel was a small, country house hotel then. We probably went there more often because it was quite close to Castle Archdale.

The proprietor was, I think, called Raymond Noble, and I have memories of him wearing a naval sweater and taking us down to the games-room in the basement for a spot of snooker.

He was follicly challenged, I seem to recall!

There was a very spacious lounge bar, another large dining-room, and a residents' lounge.

These were the main rooms on the ground floor.

THE MANOR HOUSE HOTEL has published an interesting history of the manor house: 

"The lands of Killadeas on which the Manor House Hotel stands, acquired this name from the Religious Community of the Culdees or Ceile-De of Devenish, who owned these lands for many centuries and on which there was an Ancient Church and Grave. 

It is unknown whether or not the Ancient Church of Killadeas existed before the Culdees acquired these lands.  

In fact, almost all that is known about it is tht it was called the Yellow Church, and that Isaac Butler saw it on his way to Lough Derg in 1644 and he gave the following account of it – “Two miles from Ballycassidy and ye ruins of ye Yellow Church on the roadside, it is rude sculpture and built like a barn.” 

The ancient churchyard of Killadeas or, at least part of it, is incorporated in the church-yard surrounding the modern church to today. 

Captain John Irvine, next brother to Colonel Christopher Irvine, of Castle Irvine, acquired the Killadeas estate in 1660, and the manor house was then known as Rockfield. 

It remained as Rockfield until it was rebuilt in 1860 by Colonel John Gerard Irvine, who brought craftsmen from Italy to complete the interior decoration which exists today. The Irvine family were descendants of the Irvines of Bonshaw. 

The name of Rockfield was changed to Killadeas by Major John Irvine (1788-1860) who succeeded in 1835.
His son, Colonel John Gerard Irvine (1823-1902), rebuilt Killadeas, incorporating some parts of the old house into the new one. 

In a directory of Fermanagh, published in 1879, the author states that Rockfield was built in 1710, and greatly altered and added to in 1868 by Colonel Irvine under the direction of that able and artistic architect, Mr Armstrong of Belleek. 

During the 2nd World War it was requisitioned by the Government and was for a time used by the American Forces. 

The house itself was used as an Officers’ Mess and GHQ for the seaplane base of Killadeas. It was a plane from this base which sighted the ‘Bismarck’ and consequently resulted in the destruction of the mighty battleship. 

The manor-house remained in the Irvine family until 1957, when it was acquired for use as a hotel".

First published in January, 2010.


Anonymous said...

As a fellow OC, some 16 years older than you,and also still living in the Belmont area, your comments about the Irvine family and Kiladea, brought back many memories.
It was an American built, but RAF/RCAF crewed, Catalina flying boat flying from Castle Archdale,that spotted the Bismarck leading to it being sunk at the end of May 1941. The RAF flew both Sunderlands and Catalinas using the convenience corridore over Ballyshannon for easy access to the Atlantic. It is less well known that the RAF maintained a high speed rescue launch in Killybegs harbour, with a crew in civilian uniform.
Pearl Harbour was on 7th December 1941, and it must have been some time after that that the US forces took over the estate of Kiladeas and Goblusk as a base for their Catalinas.
My father was friendly with, and sailed with Gerard Irvine at both RNIYC and later Lough Erne, after he returned from Holywood to live in a renovated house at Goblusk long after the Americans had gone home.

Demetrius said...

Back in 1955 and 1956 in the Army I was with an Irvine of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, he was then a G3 at HQ 7th Armoured Division. Would he be one of the younger generation of this family?

Timothy Belmont said...

Demetrius, sounds plausible. Possibly a son of the last Irvine mentioned?

Unknown said...

I am an Irvine doing family history county fermanagh is there any one out there that could help please